Joe Biden signed an Executive Order declaring a “national emergency” Thursday over what he claims is an “unusual and extraordinary threat” to the country’s national security, foreign policy, and economy posed by the Russian government, as Nick Arama covered earlier.
He delivered a short statement (about five minutes long) from the White House Thursday afternoon, giving more background on how he came to the decision to impose sanctions, expel diplomats, and sign that Executive Order:
During the campaign for my – for the presidency, I was unequivocal that if I was elected president I would respond to any attempt to influence our…last election, and because elections are sacred. They are sovereign undertakings, and they are an expression of the will of the American people, and we cannot allow a foreign power to interfere with our democratic process with impunity.
I told him if it turned out…as I thought, that there was engagement in our elections, that I would respond.
Later, during the transition, as we learned more about the Solar Winds cyber intrusion, I made clear that I would respond once we determined who had, in fact, conducted a hack on the scope and scale that occurred.
When President Putin called me in January…I told him that my administration would be looking very carefully, now that we had access to all the data, at the issues, to assess Russia’s role, and then determine what response we would make.
Putin must have been shaking in his boots.
The two heads of state spoke again this week, Biden said:
I told him that we would be shortly responding in a measured and proportionate way because we had concluded that they had interfered in the election and Solar Winds was totally out of the – inappropriate.
Biden says he informed Putin of the actions that would be taken, including the declaration of a national emergency, “the expulsion of several Russian officials as a consequence of their actions,” and the imposition of “sanctions to address specific harmful actions that Russia has taken against US interests.”
Big, bad Joe said he was clear with Putin that the US “could have gone further” but chose not to and instead imposed “proportionate” consequences, adding that he was not looking to “kick off a cycle of escalation and conflict with Russia.” The United States wants a “stable, predictable relationship” with Russia, Biden said, but he will respond if they “interfere with our democracy.”
During the call, Biden proposed having a summit between himself and Putin this summer in Europe to discuss numerous issues, including possibly “launch[ing] a strategic security dialogue” to “pursue cooperation in arms control and security,” and address global “challenges” like the nuclear threats from Iran and North Korea and… wait for it… “meeting the existential crisis of climate change.”
Yes, just as CNN’s bigmouth said on the Project Veritas videos, the next big thing to be rammed down our throats (as if we haven’t already taken quite enough) is unending coverage of “climate change,” because that issue doesn’t have an expiration date, unlike the pandemic.
Does anyone with a functioning brain believe that Putin will do anything to neutralize the nuclear threat posed by North Korea and Iran?
This proposed summit will be the Tropic Thunder version of Reagan and Gorbachev in Reykjavik, and I’m already thoroughly embarrassed for my country at the thought.
But back to Biden. He assured the country that he’d effectively wagged his finger at Putin during the call about Russia’s interference in Ukraine and “urged him to refrain from any military action.”
Biden flubbed a few words and stammered a few times during the remarks and in answering a couple of press questions at the end, but it was a good thing they kept the appearance to five minutes. Watch the entire episode below.